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Sunday 19th May 2024:  kick-off 3pm

Scottish Premiership - Ross County v Aberdeen

🔴⚪️ Come on you Reds! ⚪🔴

Article in today's Herald


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IT’S getting to the point with Aberdeen where the only thing that isn’t red about them is their faces.

 

Is it possible to be made a fool of so many times it becomes hard to get embarrassed by anything? If one humiliation heaped on another can ever lead to building up an immunity, Pittodrie is the place to look for signs of it. Chairman Stewart Milne and his directors have witnessed so many horror shows at this club that their eyes must be dead to them.

 

Parkhead on Saturday was the most humiliating of all, but what does it say about a club when legitimate cases might be made for a handful of other pitiful episodes having been just about as shameful? Stenhousemuir, finishing bottom of the league one season, being in a relegation play-off in another, a manager leaving in the boot of a car after being sacked, Queen’s Park, Queen of the South at Hampden, and now a 9-0. What a litany, and that’s a heavily-edited list.

 

There has been a malaise at Aberdeen for years. Mark McGhee could be the latest manager, powerless to reverse it, who falls at a club which has exhausted the patience of its fans. The last two league attendances at Pittodrie were under 9000 against Hearts and 7500 against Hibernian, alarming figures which suggests a support has turned its back. The turn-out against Inverness Caledonian Thistle tomorrow night will be even worse.

 

The other day the respected financial analyst David Glen, of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said Aberdeen deserved credit for their tight financial budget. According to him they were working to a business model that other clubs in the SPL would do well to emulate. Fine, but there’s more to running a club than ticking the right boxes for the audits and keeping it out of administration. It still comes down to the quality of the individuals at every level of the operation, from directors to manager to backroom staff, coaches and scouts. There are good people and impressive operators within Pittodrie but also some who have been there through all or many of the years of decline, failure and humiliation. That is unhealthy. When a club with one of the bigger supports in the country goes 15 years without a trophy and 10 without appearing in a national final, while finishing in the bottom half of the league more times than the top, it is a level of entrenched mediocrity that hints at endemic flaws and problems running right through the place.

 

McGhee knows he is running on empty and has to hope for leniency and a little more time. Finishing ninth and going out of both cups to lower league opposition last season eroded the goodwill towards him. This season’s league form has been underwhelming. A slap in the face was avoided in the Co-operative Insurance Cup for once – Alloa, Raith Rovers and Falkirk were dealt with on the way to a semi-final in February – but Celtic’s nine unanswered goals have led to the gallows being dusted down again.

 

Contrary to the way they are perceived, because Jimmy Calderwood stayed for five years the club has been more stable than most. They can be spared criticism for endless hiring and firing, or some sort of revolving door approach to appointments. Two managers in the last six-and-a-half years compares commendably to three at Rangers, four at Celtic, five at Hibs and Dundee United and six at Hearts in the same period. Calderwood had his moments, notably an enjoyable Uefa Cup campaign, but had run his course after five years. McGhee has never had the response from Aberdeen players that he got when finishing third in his first season at Motherwell.

 

Picking over his individual failings is inevitable when a manager is facing the chop but, with Aberdeen, a wider undercurrent of ingrained inadequacies undermine everything. They are numb to failures. The team at Parkhead was subjected to a going over which resembled the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan but that was symptomatic of a squad lacking in character, leadership and quality. The same could be said of most Aberdeen squads for a decade.

 

As one of the richest men in Scotland, Milne’s presence has always reassured the bank that they needn’t interfere with Aberdeen despite debts which reached £11m and now sit at around £7m. Aberdeen’s decision not to pursue any potential investment from their supposedly millionaire supporter, Calum Melville, turned out to be the sort of shrewd judgment which used to distinguish the club in the days when Dick Donald and Chris Anderson were calling the shots.

 

But Milne’s era has also been one in which the Aberdeen has been a crippled club. He will not be budged from his deeply unpopular mantra that it “needs to stand on its own two feet” – meaning he will not dip significantly into his wealth to provide any spending power – but during his reign Aberdeen’s comparable rivals, Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United have all won cups and the Edinburgh pair have moved into superior training facilities.

 

Removing McGhee would satisfy those who will not tolerate a 9-0 without demanding a head. The outcry is inevitable. But if a new manager is in place soon it’s hard to see how he won’t be handed the same as all the others at Aberdeen: a job and a ticking time bomb.

 

 

 

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Some good points in there.... hard to disagree with most of it.

 

The first couple of paragraphs, in particular, are spot on.  We've been humiliated that many times over the past 10-15 years, that basically no one cares anymore.  We've just been beaten 9-0 in a league fixture and the manager has kept his job - that is outrageous!!!  However, no one can really be bothered to do anything about it.  We'll just bumble along until the next disaster....  complete apathy.

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Some good points in there.... hard to disagree with most of it.

 

The first couple of paragraphs, in particular, are spot on.  We've been humiliated that many times over the past 10-15 years, that basically no one cares anymore.  We've just been beaten 9-0 in a league fixture and the manager has kept his job - that is outrageous!!!  However, no one can really be bothered to do anything about it.  We'll just bumble along until the next disaster....  complete apathy.

 

Last two words of your post completely sum up AFC.

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